Born in 1685

Jan 7 George Clifford III a wealthy Dutch banker and one of the directors of the Dutch East India Company. He is known for his keen interest in plants and gardens. His estate Hartekamp had a rich variety of plants and he engaged the Swedish naturalist Carl von Linné, who stayed at his estate from 1736 to 1738, to write Hortus Cliffortianus , a masterpiece of early botanical literature published in 1738, and for which Georg Dionysius Ehret did the illustrations. Many specimens from Clifford’s garden were also studied by Linnaeus for his Species Plantarum
Jan 7 Jonas Alströmer a pioneer of agriculture and industry in Sweden.
Jan 9 Tiberius Hemsterhuis a Dutch philologist and critic.
Feb 8 Charles-Jean-François Hénault a French writer and historian.
Feb 9 Francesco Loredan a Venetian statesman of the Loredan family; he served as the 116th Doge of Venice from 18 March 1752 until his death. Loredan was a man of modest culture and limited international experience, and had been raised primarily for a life of commerce; in this he stood in stark contrast to his immediate predecessor, Pietro Grimani, who was a poet and diplomat. Loredan was succeeded as Doge by Marco Foscarini
Feb 10 Aaron Hill (writer) an English dramatist and miscellaneous writer.
Feb 23 George Frideric Handel a German Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Born in a family indifferent to music, Handel received critical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London , and became a naturalized British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition
Mar 12 George Berkeley an Anglo-Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism". This theory denies the existence of material substance and instead contends that familiar objects like tables and chairs are only ideas in the minds of perceivers, and as a result cannot exist without being perceived. Berkeley is also known for his critique of abstraction, an important premise in his argument for immaterialism
Mar 17 Jean-Marc Nattier born in Paris, the second son of Marc Nattier , a portrait painter, and of Marie Courtois , a miniaturist. He is noted for his portraits of the ladies of King Louis XV's court in classical mythological attire
Mar 18 Ralph Erskine (preacher) a Scottish churchman.
Mar 31 Johann Sebastian Bach a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth
Apr 18 Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de la Jonquière Marquis de la Jonquière a French admiral and Governor General of New France from March 1, 1749 until his death in 1752.
May 6 Sophia Louise of Mecklenburg-Schwerin a princess of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The third wife of King Frederick I of Prussia, she died childless having gone mad
Jun 23 Antonio Bernacchi an Italian castrato, composer, and teacher of singing. He studied with Francesco Antonio Pistocchi. His pupils included Farinelli, for a brief period during 1727, and the tenor Anton Raaff. Nowadays Bernacchi is best remembered for his association with the composer George Frideric Handel, in six of whose operas he sang
Jun 24 Hans von Lehwaldt a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall who participated in the Silesian Wars of Frederick the Great.
Jun 30 John Gay an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera , a ballad opera. The characters, including Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, became household names
Jul 3 Sir Robert Rich 4th Baronet a British cavalry officer. As a junior officer he fought at the Battle of Schellenberg and at the Battle of Blenheim during the War of the Spanish Succession. He was then asked the raise a regiment to combat the threat from the Jacobite rising rising of 1715. He also served with the Pragmatic Army under the Earl of Stair at the Battle of Dettingen during the War of the Austrian Succession. As a Member of Parliament he represented three different constituencies but never attained political office
Aug 15 Jacob Theodor Klein a Royal Prussian jurist, historian, botanist, mathematician and diplomat in service of Polish King August II the Strong.
Aug 18 Brook Taylor best known for Taylor's theorem and the Taylor series.
Aug 20 Farrukhsiyar the Mughal emperor between 1713 and 1719. Noted as a handsome ruler he was easily swayed by his advisers, he lacked the ability, knowledge and character to rule independently. He was the son of Azim-ush-Shan—the second son of emperor Bahadur Shah I—and Sahiba Nizwan
Sep 4 Johann Adolf II Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels the last duke of Saxe-Weissenfels-Querfurt and a member of the House of Wettin. He was also a commander in the Saxon army
Sep 16 Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt a German physician, naturalist and geographer. He was born in Danzig and studied medicine in Jena and Halle, obtained his doctorate degree in the latter in 1713 and settled as a medical doctor in Danzig. In 1716, he came into contact with Russian emperor Peter the Great. By decree of November 5, 1718, Peter gave Messerschmidt the task to ”collect rarities and medicinal plants” from Siberia. Messerschmidt set out in 1720 on his exploration – the first by a naturalist in this terra incognita, which came to last for seven years. He made numerous observations related to ethnology, zoology and botany and also excavated the first known fossil mammoth remains. Messerschmidt used two simple utensils for collecting data and artefacts, written diary notes and boxes, establishing a tradition for naturalist exploration to last for a century. In Tobolsk, Messerschmidt met the Swedish lieutenant colonel Philip Johan von Strahlenberg, who had been taken prisoner at the Battle of Poltava and exiled to Siberia. Strahlenberg accompanied Messerschmidt during several expeditions and later published some of Messerschmidt’s observations. Messerschmidt explored lands all the way to Argun east of Lake Baikal. The journey, however, exhausted him, and he returned to Saint Petersburg in February 1728. He never became a member of the Academy of Sciences. He died in poverty in 1735
Sep 20 Giuseppe Matteo Alberti an Italian Baroque composer and violinist.
Oct 1 Charles VI Holy Roman Emperor succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia , King of Hungary and Croatia , and King of Serbia , Archduke of Austria, etc., in 1711. He unsuccessfully claimed the throne of Spain as Charles III following the death of its ruler, and Charles's relative, Charles II of Spain, in 1700. He married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, by whom he had his two children: Maria Theresa, born 1717, the last Habsburg sovereign, and Maria Anna, born 1718, Governess of the Austrian Netherlands
Oct 13 Henri François Le Dran a French surgeon.
Oct 26 Domenico Scarlatti an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style and he was one of the few Baroque composers to transition into the classical period. Like his renowned father Alessandro Scarlatti, he composed in a variety of musical forms, although today he is known mainly for his 555 keyboard sonatas
Nov 17 Pierre Gaultier de Varennes sieur de La Vérendrye a French Canadian military officer, fur trader and explorer. In the 1730s he and his four sons opened up the area west of Lake Superior and thus began the process that added Western Canada to the original New France in the Saint Lawrence basin. He was also the first European to reach North Dakota and the upper Missouri River. In the 1740s two of his sons crossed the prairie as far as Wyoming and were the first Europeans to see the Rocky Mountains north of New Mexico
Dec 6 Marie Adélaïde of Savoy the wife of Louis, Dauphin of France, Duke of Burgundy. She was the eldest daughter of Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy and of Anne Marie d'Orléans. Her betrothal to the Duke of Burgundy in June 1696 was part of the Treaty of Turin, signed on 29 August 1696. She was the mother of the future King Louis XV of France. Styled as Duchess of Burgundy after her marriage, she became Dauphine of France upon the death of her father-in-law, Le Grand Dauphin, in 1711. She died of measles in 1712, followed by her husband a week later
Dec 8 Johann Maria Farina an Italian perfumier who created the first Eau de Cologne.
Dec 12 Lodovico Giustini an Italian composer and keyboard player of the late Baroque and early Classical eras. He was the first known composer ever to write music for the piano
Dec 17 Thomas Tickell a minor English poet and man of letters.